Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school, but the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Sankaran Venkataraman from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Sankaran Venkataraman—who is known around the campus of the University of Virginia’s (UVA’s) Darden School as simply “Venkat”—is an internationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship. He is the MasterCard Professor of Business Administration at Darden and the senior associate dean for faculty and research. He has edited the Journal of Business Venturing and consulted with the U.S. Department of Commerce on promoting entrepreneurship globally. He is also a coauthor of The Innovation Journey (Oxford University Press, 2008) and coeditor of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Regions Around the World: Theory, Evidence and Implications (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008). Venkat earned one of Darden’s awards for outstanding faculty in 2008 and is generally considered one of the school’s most popular professors. In January 2010, Venkat earned the Academy of Management’s Decade Award for a paper published ten years earlier that was judged to have had the greatest impact on scholarship in the fields of management and organizations.
A second-year student we interviewed described Venkat as “very analytical, very smart and teaching on the top edge of marketing analytics.” Added a recent alumnus, “He will help much more than you would expect a professor to help.” Another alumnus with whom we spoke recounted meeting Venkat at an Indian Affairs party only a few weeks into his first year: “He [Venkat] quickly realized that I did not know who he was and told me that he was a student in another section. I led him around, introducing him to other new students until I eventually realized that he was pulling my leg.”
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